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Men’s Basketball: Findlay sinks Lake Erie

The University of Findlay’s Anthony Masterlasco, middle, drives to the basket between Lake Erie College’s Ryan Middendorf, left, and Kyle Hagey during Thursday’s Great Midwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball game at Croy Gymnasium. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

By ANDY WOLF
Staff Writer
Martyce Kimbrough wasn’t always open.
But he did shoot 7 of 11 from 3-point range Thursday night.
The University of Findlay senior dropped a game-high 29 points and his teammates were equally on fire.
The Oilers topped the century mark for the first time in Great Midwest Athletic Conference play in routing Lake Erie 107-86 at Croy Gymnasium.
“Getting a win is always a good feeling, especially in front of our home crowd,” said Kimbrough, who had season highs in points and 3-pointers. “It’s a really good team win, especially Taren (Sullivan) being down the last few games. It was finally good to get him back out here. He looked really good.
“Good team effort. We were hitting some shots, moving the ball pretty well.”
Findlay (22-3, 16-1) also clinched its first outright GMAC title with three games remaining in league play.
The high-scoring affair was a complete 180-degree spin from their first meeting as UF grinded out a 65-59 victory on Jan. 6 in Painesville.
“Funny game, isn’t it?” UF coach Charlie Ernst said. “Give Lake Erie credit. They made shots. They’re not one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the league but they made shots,
“More importantly, we made shots. Both teams shot the ball extremely well. It was a high-scoring game; I didn’t think the defenses were as bad as the final score would indicate.”
The Oilers bested their previous GMAC scoring output of 96 points against Kentucky Wesleyan just 12 days ago.
Having shown the ability to score in multiple facets all season long, Findlay put it all together in a most explosive way against Lake Erie.
Four UF players scored in double figures and five more chipped in at least six points.
The Oilers racked up 14 points off 10 first-half turnovers to build a 55-38 halftime cushion.
They finished at 65.6 percent shooting for the game, including 13 of 21 from 3-point range.
Sullivan (16 points) showed no ill effects from his ankle injury after missing the last two games. Nine of his points came in the first four minutes of the second half.
“It’s good to see,” Ernst said. “When you have someone you can trust to throw it to inside that can score efficiently around the basket and pass the ball like him, that adds a whole other element.”
Meanwhile, the Storm were nearly equally scorching and didn’t go away quietly from facing a 67-48 deficit after Sullivan’s spurt.
They soon splashed in a few 3-pointers and cut the UF lead to 74-65 with 11:49 remaining.
Up to that point, Lake Erie was beyond lights out at 11 of 14 from 3-point range.
“It seems like teams shoot a little bit better in Croy,” Kimbrough said with a laugh. “We were able to force them into turnovers which helped us out a lot.
“At the end, we got some defensive rebounds and when we get stops on defense, that leads to our transition offense.”
A few guarded, pull-up 3-pointers by Kimbrough fueled a a 20-2 UF run to put the game long out of reach.
“I was just trying to get it back going,” Kimbrough said. “I haven’t shot it as well as I have in the past.
“I continue to stay confident in myself. I keep getting shots up. Tonight, they were going in.”
Once he saw them go in, he continued to keep shooting.
“I try to embrace the big shots, embrace the big moments, especially when they’re making a big run,” Kimbrough said.
Tommy Schmock added 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds while Aaron Overhiser scored 10 points off the bench.
Alex White had nine points, and fellow starters Trey Smith and Elijah Kahlig both put in eight points.
Lake Erie’s Brogan Scott (17 points) and Gabe Kynard (15 points) combined for 25 of their total in the first half.
The Storm shot 54.4 percent overall, 14 of 24 from 3-point range.

Lake Erie (12-11, 7-8 GMAC)
Rhodes 4-9 4-4 12, Humphrey 4-6 0-0 10, Kynard 5-9 2-2 15, Riggs 3-5 0-0 8, Scott 6-8 2-3 17, James 1-3 0-0 2, Michael 0-1 0-0 0, McQueen 1-1 2-2 5, Thomas 1-3 0-0 2, Hagey 2-3 0-0 5, Middendorf 1-3 0-0 2, Burdyshaw 0-0 0-0 0, Hufstetler 0-0 0-0 0, Loomis 1-1 0-0 2, Dunnigan 0-0 0-0 0, Morris 2-3 0-0 6. TOTALS: 31-57 10-11 — 86.
findlay (22-3, 16-1 GMAC)
White 4-7 1-2 9, Gardner 3-4 0-0 6, Smith 3-6 1-1 8, Kimbrough 10-16 2-2 29, Kahlig 2-3 2-2 8, Schmock 4-4 2-3 11, Sullivan 5-8 4-4 16, Masterlasco 3-4 0-0 6, Wildermuth 1-3 0-0 2, M. Ashley 0-1 2-2 2, N. Ashley 0-0 0-0 0, Overhiser 5-5 0-2 10, Linder 0-1 0-0 0, Buford 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 40-62 14-18 — 107.
3-Point GOALS: Lake Erie 14-24 (Scott 3-3, Kynard 3-4, Humphrey 2-3, Riggs 2-3, Morris 2-4, McQueen 1-1, Hagey 1-2, James 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Middendorf 0-2); Findlay 13-21 (Kimbrough 7-11, Sullivan 2-2, Kahlig 2-3, Schmock 1-1, Smith 1-2, M. Ashley 0-1, Linder 0-1).
rebounds: Lake Erie 22 (Rhodes 4); Findlay 29 (Schmock 6).
ASSISTS: Lake Erie 18 (Riggs 5); Findlay 20 (Smith 5).
STEALS: Lake Erie 3 (James, Hagey & Middendorf); Findlay 6 (Sullivan & Overhiser 2).
BLOCKS: Lake Erie 2 (Kynard & Dunnigan); Findlay 2 (Kimbrough & Masterlasco).
TURNOVERS: Lake Erie 13, Findlay 6.
TOTAL FOULS: Lake Erie 16; Findlay 15.
FOULED OUT: None.
HALFTIME: Findlay 55, Lake Erie 39.
Wolf, 419-427-8496,
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